Last year AdEasel covered Google's algorithm changes many marketers were calling 'Mobilegeddon', which resulted in non-responsive websites getting ranked lower than their mobile-friendly counterparts. Yesterday Google announced two upcoming changes to mobile search results that make finding content easier for users.
1. Simplifying mobile search results (Google will be removing the mobile-friendly label)
Two years ago, we added a mobile-friendly label to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced. Since then, we’ve seen the ecosystem evolve and we recently found that 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label. To keep search results uncluttered, we’ll be removing the label, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal. We’ll continue providing the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile-friendly test to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages.
2. Helping users find the content they’re looking for (Google will be punishing websites that display mobile pop-ups)
Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.
Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.
Google's Webmaster Central Blog covers examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal, if used responsibly. Learn more here.